Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: June 21

School sidewalk repair seems a waste of money

A Fayette County Public Schools maintenance supervisor explained to me that the expenditure of about $20,000 for complete sidewalk replacement (1,700 feet) at the Southside Vocational School on Harrodsburg Road was needed because a slab had settled one-half inch. You really have to see it to believe it.

He reasoned that he would stay a step ahead of code enforcement lest they find this dastardly crevice first. He further explained that "it's cheaper in the long run to just replace the entire sidewalk." Huh? Each year he budgets to do this to two schools, regardless.

Yet, code enforcement explained to me that unless someone filed a complaint, they normally would not inspect a walk on school property and a simple solution would be to just bevel off the offending edge.

I couldn't help but think teachers could have put $20,000 of taxpayers' money to better use, but the super explained that "they all are very supportive of whatever we do and there have been no complaints."

Please spend my tax dollars as if you earned them the hard way.

Ben Blyton


Put wealth to use

Every day, countless working people devote themselves to labor. They build our houses, repair our roofs, police our streets, grow our food, teach our children, design and create our machines and structures, seek and discover cures, tend to our sick, drive our trucks, and keep our water, sewage and electricity flowing.

Where does the wealth they create end up? Roughly 25 percent flows into the pockets of the top 1 percent of Americans. The top 10 percent pocket roughly 50 percent.

These folks determine how this wealth is used. Will it create and maintain jobs in America? Or will it make stockholders richer by sending jobs overseas, laying off workers, reducing wages and squeezing more work from those who remain?

Recent tax cuts diverted even more of our wealth into the pockets of the wealthy. This step took away money previously allocated to make all Americans' lives easier, safer, healthier and more productive (via education). Since we all toiled to produce it, why doesn't it continue to be bestowed on all our people, as it had been until the recent past?

The moral issue here is not equality. Some people will always possess less and some more. The question is: Will we live by biblical values, which enjoin us to educate our youngsters and to care for the poor, the sick, the orphans, or will we declare war on working people, the sick and the poor, chipping away at the little they have?

Joseph Engelberg


Bash away

"Enough Bush-bashing," really? The June 5 letter wants people to stop bashing President George W. Bush. That's a tall order.

Bush-bashing by historians has started and will continue for decades. Some have already rated Bush as one of the worst presidents. The letter writer discusses Iraq and Afghanistan and the democratic progress made there. The writer forgot to mention the second Great Depression and unemployment that Bush allowed and his doubling of the national debt.

More than 1,600 troops have been killed in Afghanistan and we spend about $2 billion a week there. Six weeks would fund a year of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Bush could have gotten Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora, but didn't. Bush had eight years to get him, but didn't. Bush took his eye off the ball and concentrated on Iraq. We will likely depart Afghanistan much like the Russians did.

Over 4,400 dead and 30,000 wounded U.S. troops in Iraq at a cost of over $1 trillion. The cost to treat the wounded will continue for decades. It can be debated whether Iraq is better now than under Saddam Hussein and sons. Granted, they were butchers. But many Iraqis (especially the Christians) probably wish for the stability that existed under Hussein, particularly the families of the more than 100,000 civilian dead, mostly killed by Iraqis themselves.

It's shameful the United States attacked Iraq based on lies about weapons of mass destruction (none found) and the Sept. 11 attacks (not related).

Ralph Blumer


Doesn't add up

A recent letter stated that if workers were allowed to invest $3,000 a year of their Social Security payments into private accounts they would stand to get $1 million to $3 million from their $138,000 investment. Idealistically this is great, but reality doesn't match the idea.

The proposal submitted by President George W. Bush in 2005 suggested putting 2 percent of a person's salary into private accounts. If you add the employer's 2 percent contribution, you would need a starting salary of $75,000 to reach a $3,000 contribution.

Census data show the median income in Kentucky for men is just under $40,000 and for women just under $30,000, which is close to the national average. So the vast majority start at a wage too low to get close to contributing that amount.

And if you take tens of billions of dollars a year out of the current system, where does the money come from to pay current retirees?

After seeing what Wall Street did with mortgage-backed securities and the way it swindled sophisticated investors, do you believe they won't come up with some devious way to get that money into their grubby hands? Wall Street is like a casino. The house always wins.

If you feel strongly about investing, invest $250 a month into a 401(k). You can do that without depending on a government program. Then when Wall Street turns your 401(k) into a 201(k), you'll at least have Social Security to fall back on.

Dave Midgett


'Security' is the word

Sometimes a letter to the editor just amazes me. "Workers would gain from privatizing Social Security" is one of them.

Here we are still in the greatest recession since the Great Depression with millions of Americans having their investments tank, many of those having to postpone retirement, and this writer wants to privatize Social Security. Amazing.

I've received Social Security for two years now, just about the period of time many of my friends' 401(k)accounts have taken 40 percent hits. It will take them years to recover.

I appreciate that I can count on my Social Security check no matter what, because I understand the meaning of "security." I think the writer needs to look that word up and contemplate its meaning.

Jack McDowell


Can't deny symbolism

I find a letter concerning the Confederate flag so unbelievable that words hardly arise. But, I will try.

Most Americans, from the North or South, do not give a hoot about the history of the Civil War. This flag was used as a symbol of segregationists and the KKK throughout the 1950s and '60s. Any rally against integration was full of these flags.

When something is used to symbolize a cause, do not be surprised when people link the symbol to the cause. The swastika is an ancient Hindu symbol. So, following the logic of the writer, when it is painted on the walls of a synagogue, one should think of it as the Hindu symbol not as the one used by Nazis.

Allowing it to be on a license plate simply screams to the other drivers that the driver is totally ignorant of its use or does not care if he or she is reinforcing the ugly "redneck" stereotype. And, when the person drives out of state, onlookers have no way of knowing that the flag does not represent the whole state.

David Wachtel